The ongoing presence of informal camps of migrants and asylum seekers dispersed around the La Chapelle-Pajol area has made passage through this part of the city of Paris increasingly difficult - both for those local residents who cross its pavements on a daily basis, and for those more recent arrivals from all corners of the world, who hope to cross permanently from this part of Paris to Calais and beyond.
With the official path to asylum and eventual citizenship failing to provide an effective route out of their current circumstances, La Chapelle has become, for many, a dead end. So too, the public space that it occupies has become cornered off by fences, police vans, piles of rubbish and people everywhere.
ULIP’s Director of Research and Graduate Study, Anna-Louise Milne, has been working with migrants and asylum seekers in these areas of northern Paris for a number of years. She writes and reflects regularly on her experiences and observations, most recently in an article for the Conversation (in French), on the developing impasse of incomprehension at La Chapelle.
ULIP’s Paris Centre for Migrant Writing and Expression runs regular translation laboratories with migrants and asylum seekers in Paris and has exhibited its work in London.